Showing posts from June, 2017

Investment to improve the lives of women in Africa is critical

In recent years, Africa has been an area of focus for investment in infrastructure development, trade, and financial inclusion (partly through Fintech and the financing of SMEs). However, environmental and ‘gender lens’ investing (which targets women-led businesses and initiatives) are gaining traction, particularly in the development finance community.

This is according to Omega Collocott, Sector Head for Financial Institution Ratings at Global Credit Ratings (GCR), who attended a gathering of investors, service providers and African financial services companies at the recent African Financial Services Investment Conference (AFSIC) held in London.

Despite an increase in social development investments in Africa, more is needed to improve the lives of women and girls on the continent. According to Oxfam South Africa, a third of all women will experience violence at some point in their lives and marginalised women are the most vulnerable.

Collocott noted that a key takeaway from the conf…

#SAFranchiseFriday featuring Timbercity

With over 40 years of experience in providing superior products, outstanding service and successful brand marketing, Timbercity is one of southern Africa’s most recognised and trusted brands.

Initially established by two independent entrepreneurs, the brand was later acquired by PG Wood and two years later the first Timbercity franchise store was launched. Today, Timbercity is a subsidiary of SteinBuild, the southern African building materials division of Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. Access to SteinBuild’s supply chain has aided the growth of the group not only in South Africa but also in Zambia, Botswana and Namibia.

Timbercity’s business model facilitates the franchising of new outlets as well as the conversion and rebranding of existing businesses. To accommodate the building, kitchen, trade and DIY sectors, its retail space has been enhanced to deliver a superior customer shopping experience.

Through their skilled and knowledgeable staff and partne…

Pioneering mobile app that document details at the scene of motor accidents

Process designed to shorten time frames in insurance claims and legal payouts.

A Centurion-based private investigation services firm FICS has developed a pioneering mobile application, which assists those present at the scene of an accident or shortly thereafter, to capture comprehensively all the information necessary to process a claim – shortening time frames in both the settling of insurance claims and road accident fund claims.

The FICS Mobile app, uses geo location technology, and is believed to the be the first of its kind in South Africa – if not the world - to fully document the evidence required by insurance companies as well as legal parties to process motor accident claims. The FICS Mobile app fills an identified and existing gap in the accident-claim process.

Users are able to capture data such as the location; date and time of the accident; vehicle details; and road and weather conditions. The FICS Mobile app also allows for photographs, videos, and witness statements and c…

Overcoming conflict in the franchisor-franchisee relationship

Successful franchise businesses are characterised by strong relationships between franchisees and franchisors. There are times, however, when unresolved conflict between the two can jeopardise the business and, in some instances, even lead to the shutdown of a franchise operation, writes Sandwich Baron CEO, Sally J’Arlette-Joy.

Every franchisor and franchisee relationship incorporates rules and standards that are put into place to outline and protect the quality of the service or products the franchisee provides to the customer. This is to minimise risk and for the benefit of all parties.

A franchisee who does not adhere to the regulations and standards that have been established by the franchisor can affect not only his or her own operation, but the entire franchisee chain.

This is why it is so important to ensure the lines of communication are always kept open. The franchisor needs to be easily accessible to franchisees and ready with advice or assistance on every aspect of the busine…

The nuts and bolts of the Micro Franchisor Development Programme

While we have on previous occasions highlighted various aspects of the programme, in this article we elaborate on how the various phases dovetail with one another in contributing to the greater objective of enterprise development, transformation and job creation.
By Kobus Oosthuizen

The basic principles of traditional franchising are relatively well understood, however the development of emerging franchisors and their business models within emerging markets presents unique challenges, inherent to the environment and era we find ourselves in.

How do you determine whether a business operating in the emerging market, without the benefit of proper management accounting systems, has the potential to be replicated and franchised on a commercially viable basis?

How would emerging franchisors, who invariably do not have access to the necessary resources, fund the high cost of developing and packaging a franchised business in a statutorily compliant manner that is also aligned to …

Are SA's youth a lost generation?

Are South Africa’s youth a lost generation – many of whom reportedly will never experience gainful employment? Unfortunately, this may be the case if smart strategies aren’t identified to bolster youth participation in entrepreneurship. This is according to the recently released 2016/2017 South Africa Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) which shows that youth unemployment remains at a staggeringly high rate of over 60%.

With the availability of jobs expected to diminish even further now, given that South Africa is in a technical recession after the economy contracted by 0.7% in the first quarter of 2017, Adv. Kobus Engelbrecht, spokesperson for the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, says that the national attitude towards entrepreneurship needs to be shifted, especially in the minds of the youth.

South Africa currently possesses below average entrepreneurial activity levels for those aged between 18 and 34 years, says Engelbrecht.…

Entrepreneurship as a career - no longer a choice

South Africa requires an unprecedented response to the crisis if we are to deal with the country’s poor economic and employment levels

With the recurring theme of stubborn unemployment figures – now at their highest, and not likely to improve in the next quarter given South Africa’s slide into a technical recession during the first quarter of 2017 – the argument that school leavers should consider entrepreneurship as an alternative career choice is one that has been used extensively.

The idea, often expressed as an afterthought, is that the increasing number of school leavers who struggle to find employment in the formal jobs market should consider creating their own jobs for themselves and their unemployed peers by starting their own businesses.

But, David Morobe, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) says that the latest shocking unemployment figures from Statistics SA show that the words “choice” and “alternative” are fast becoming inappropriate, …

#SAFranchiseFriday featuring Matrix Warehouse

The Matrix Warehouse concept was founded in answer to the market need for a reliable computer shop and it was in the face of strong competition that the first store opened its doors to the public in 2000. However, the success of the concept was quickly determined with four more stores opening the following year. As the business grew it became clear that the best way to ensure personal involvement in every store was to franchise the concept and today Matrix Warehouse boasts a countrywide network of 84 stores.

Matrix Warehouse prides itself on its value for money offering, its outstanding support and service and keeping abreast of continual developments in the IT market.

As a competitively priced, complete IT solutions provider, Matrix Warehouse outlets engage in the retail distribution of complete desktops, notebooks, tablets, PC components, peripherals and software.

In addition to computer hardware and software they offer networking, repairs, upgrades and comple…

Mahikeng now has a new sparkle

OJ Korasi shares some of his journey from SAPS deputy director to franchisee.

Growing up in Taung and residing in Mahikeng, OJ attended North-West University, UNISA and the University of Johannesburg, where he completed a postgraduate diploma in Labour Law, an Advanced Management Programme and a BTech Policing degree.

Before deciding to brave the world of self-employment, OJ served as a Deputy Director with SAPS for 25 years. With his wife Gloria as his business partner, Sparkling Mahikeng is a family venture and they are very excited about the prospect of making it a resounding success.

Is being your own boss something you always aspired to and who/what motivated you to want to own your own business?
Being my own boss is something I’ve wanted to do for a while; to have the opportunity to contribute to job creation and help build the economy of South Africa.

How many other businesses did you consider before deciding on Sparkling Auto Care Centres and what tipped…

Enjoying more at Mugg & Bean Kenilworth Centre

We catch up with Nawal Ramasar who, along with Marc Wassung, are the proud new owners of the Mugg & Bean in Kenilworth Centre

Born in Durban, Nawal moved to Cape Town 27 years ago. Inspired by his parents who are both professionals, Nawal completed a BSc in genetics and biochemistry as well as an MBA (Marketing & Finance), but instead of following his parents into the corporate world, he decided to make his mark in franchising.

Marc is a professional chef whose association with Mugg & Bean began when he helped Ben Fimalter, founder of the Mugg & Bean concept, open the first Mugg & Bean at the V&A Waterfront.

Is being your own boss something you always aspired to and who/what motivated you to want to own your own business? 
The motivation for wanting to own my own business came from the inefficiencies and lack of entrepreneurial mindset in corporate companies.

How many other businesses did you consider before deciding on Mugg & Bean and what ti…

Affordable motoring a must for SA’s youth to fully participate in the economy

The importance of mobility, and the ability to commute easily, should never be underestimated as factors in assisting South African youth gain employment and take their ultimate places in a market-driven economy, says Datsun South Africa.

With the focus this month on South Africa’s youth, it is important to consider their role in society and the challenges they face – and enabling mobility is a key factor in assisting them, says Des Fenner, General Manager of Datsun South Africa.

“We live in a country where we are wrestling with the provision of integrated public transport systems. Part of this challenge is the long distances between places like city centres, tertiary education institutions, townships and suburbs. For many South Africans, this equates to lengthy commutes, requiring several changes of buses, taxis and trains.”

“With commutes of four hours a day or more being common, the motor car is more than a convenience; it is a life-changing acquisition that provides opportunities…

So fresh: Domino’s Pizza delivers a fresh dough experience every day

Since launching in 2014, Domino’s Pizza has grown close to 90 stores and has arguably become a leader in the food delivery space. Much of its success can be attributed to their innovative menu and delivery service but the best-kept secret is that Domino’s pizzas are made with fresh dough.

According to Romy Townsend, Marketing Manager for Domino’s Pizza, consumers want transparency. “South Africans are more concerned about what they eat. They want to know the origins of their food and they want to see it come to life. At Domino’s Pizza, we offer both; we only use the freshest ingredients and our in-store pizza theatre makes the customer part of the pizza making experience.”

Together with South African licensee, Taste Holdings, Domino’s Pizza produced a state-of-the-art commissary in Johannesburg as well as a smaller scale operation in Cape Town. The commissaries are HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) accredited and produce fresh dough daily through a fail-safe proces…

Entrepreneurship offers SA youth hope amidst recession

Opportunity for 900 young aspiring entrepreneurs to jump start their business with national free business training workshops

Adding to the woes of South Africa’s unemployment rate hitting a 13-year high of 27.7%, Statistics SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the first quarter of 2017 revealed that the youth unemployment rate rose by 1.6 percentage points to 38.6%, and with the economy entering a technical recession, businesses are likely to slow expansion and hiring, further hindering the prospect of future employment.

In light of these challenging circumstances, Christo Botes – executive director at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) – says that it is now more crucial than ever before to equip South Africa’s youth with the necessary skills and knowledge to start and run their own micro or small business.

“Increased unemployment among the youth is extremely worrying, as the prospect of finding employment tends to deteriorate as the period spent unemployed extends. We th…

Fresh new look for Sandwich Baron Stores

Sandwich Baron stores around the country will be given a fresh new look this year. The revamp is to mark the franchise group’s 21st birthday and ensure it keeps abreast of current trends, especially the renewed focus on eating healthy.

Sandwich Baron CEO, Sally J’arlette Joy, says several new items have been introduction onto the Sandwich Baron menu to accommodate people with various dietary and health needs. “Recent introductions include the Banting Veggie Omelette, which is a variation on an existing popular item, as well as a vegetarian breakfast, amongst many others.

“We wanted the new look to more aligned with the health theme, hence the trendier and more earthy and wholesome look of the wooden finishes we are using in our stores. At the same time, we will retain the distinctive red and green colours that Sandwich Baron is so well known for,” she says.

The new look will not cost the franchisees an arm and a leg. “Franchisees will be updating their looks in the second part of the ye…

Fanfare for new Musina Cash Converters Franchise

There’s an exciting new business on the block at Musina Mall in Musina, Limpopo. Robert Livhoyi, well known in the town for his religious and sporting activities, has opened Musina’s first Cash Converters store.

“I have been in business for 20 years and this is my first franchise,” says Livhoyi. “I want to consolidate the investments I have made over that time and build wealth and assets for my family.”
Buying a franchise is an excellent way to do this, he believes, because the concept combines an excellent business opportunity with strong systems and operational support.

“This is a really effective way for me to extend and improve the business skills I have developed so far,” Livhoyi says. “I chose a Cash Converters franchise because I believe its offerings appeal to everyone across the community.”

Livhoyi also believes that the business opportunities for his franchise are exponentially increased by its location within a developing area at the gateway north into Africa. The Cash Convert…

Current challenges faced by new franchisees

As the South African economy continues to navigate economic challenges; the knock-on effect on consumers is one of the main issues keeping new franchisees awake at night.

Morne Cronje, Head of Franchising at FNB Business says “despite the resilience of the franchising sector which contributes almost 12% to South Africa’s GDP; and generated a projected R493-billion turnover in 2016; new franchisees are cautiously observing the economic headwinds and their anticipated impact on profit margins.” 

Cronje shares some key challenges faced by new franchisees:

Managing cash flow:
The slowdown on the economy is making it very challenging for new franchisees to remain profitable - this means they need to adapt to this tough economic climate by managing their cash flow efficiently, because it plays a critical part on the health of a business. Furthermore, they also need to build a closer relationship with their financial institutions; this will improve their working capital and also carry them thr…

#SAFranchiseFriday featuring Zebro's

The Zebro's story begins in the early 1990s in small town of Caledon in the Western Cape, where customers could be found queuing for a very unique meal. This unique meal consisted of chicken portions, prepared in the traditional South African braai method using wood coals. The chicken was enhanced with a secret family basting and marinade sauce. Preparing chicken in this traditional way and adding the unique basting sauce was clearly a winning combination.

Local businessman, John Hickman, decided that more people needed to enjoy this unique product and the first franchise concept outlet was opened in November 2001. During 2014, after substantial negotiations, Taste Holdings Limited acquired the Zebro’s franchise business, system and brand. Zebro’s is a member of the Taste Holdings Group and forms part of the Taste Food Division along with The Fish & Chip Co, Maxi’s, Domino’s Pizza and Starbucks. The Taste Holdings Group is a South African-based management group with…

Masisizane Fund honours successful Eastern Cape SMMEs

The drought-afflicted Eastern Cape is reporting 0,3% negative growth in GDP and a shrinking agriculture sector, but that is not deterring its most enterprising people from fighting hard to overcome the challenges and contribute positively to the economy.

“Often where there is adversity, there is opportunity, as the SMMEs in the Eastern Cape have brilliantly demonstrated. They are playing a critical role in strengthening local economies,” said Zizipho Nyanga, CEO of the Masisizane Fund. Statistics recently released by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) confirm Nyanga’s sentiments. It reports that the contribution of SMMEs to GDP is growing and currently just under 60%.

With this in mind, the Masisizane Fund will be celebrating the successes of these entrepreneurs in their fourth provincial awards to be held this week. The Fund supports SMMEs in urban and peri-rural areas and is strongly biased towards female and youth black businesses, a criterion that is aligned directly t…

If SA thinks like an entrepreneur, the entrepreneurial data isn't all doom and gloom

Business Partners Limited analyses of local Global Entrepreneurial Monitor 2016-2017 South Africa report

South Africa has recorded one of its lowest levels of entrepreneurial activity since 2002, according to the recently released Global Entrepreneurial Monitor (GEM) South Africa report 2016-2017. And with such a finding, it is easy to become pessimistic about the country’s prospect of ever improving its levels of entrepreneurship - and all the job creation, wealth creation, and prosperity that goes with it.

This is according to Christo Botes, executive director of Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who says that when looking at the recently released GEM report, South Africa has consistently scored below its peers, and this year ranked 52nd out of 65 participating countries for entrepreneurial intentions – which dropped by more than a third (from 15.4% to 10.1%) when compared to 2013 and almost halved when compared to 2010.

While the low entrepreneurial intention for South …

Owner-run franchises are more likely to succeed than those run by managers

Being a hands-on franchise owner is preferable to hiring an in-store manager to handle the day-to-day operating of the business, especially for cash-based franchise operations such as Sandwich Baron, writes Sally J’Arlette-Joy, founder and CEO of Sandwich Baron.

Notably, in the 21 years Sandwich Baron has been in operation, a worrying trend has emerged: never has a manager run store succeeded. The cash nature of the business seems to be too much of a temptation.

Owner-managed franchise operations are better owner-managed, more profitable and more likely to succeed than manager-managed operations.

In the food delivery business, multiple factors need to be considered: delivery vehicles need to be maintained and constantly refuelled; food needs to be fresh and well prepared; menus need to be adapted to allow for new food trends; employees need to maintain high levels of hygiene and service; and food preparation needs to adhere to strict franchise standards.

There has been a notable tren…